Life gets in the way 1.5

So after hearing that I had a stroke at the hospital, I made a prompt call to the neurologist on Monday.  They were able to get me in the next day and in I went. The PA put me on a high dose cholesterol medication and a daily 81mg aspirin as preventative medicines for stroke control. I proceeded to get headaches daily. I would get them for the next two to three weeks daily, some days worse than others. I had a note to get a special screen cover for my work computer monitors at home. They are still working on that order.  I have missed about three days of work because of headaches that made  it to hard to focus on anything safely, especially at work.

In the next week following the neurologist appointment, my neurologist PA wrote an order for a MRI and angiogram, both with out contrast.  Fine. Then in the next week after that, I got a mammogram results call stating I need to come in as they found a small mass. Of course I had that ultrasound/special mammogram test scheduled for the same day I was going up anyway for the neurology tests.  So, I scheduled myself for a super stressed Tuesday in about a month from then.  It seemed so far away back then.  Time went by, and the headaches started to subside slowly. It took at least a month to be able to blog as screen work was hard. I had to reserve my screen work energy for my job, so the blogging had to take a back seat.  I worked on my Pilates and my eating regimen with Weight Watchers.

Soo the weeks passed and I had great friends who were there for both the mammogram and the brain tests.  It was nice to get through stress with friends. It definitely took my mind off the actual tests and results. It turned out the mammogram just revealed cysts (two) and they were no big deal according to the radiologist. Yay! So I had magazines to keep me company when my first friend left after those results were read.  Then a couple great friends came to meet me for an early dinner.  One of them  actually stayed with me for the tests.  Then  we celebrated the end of Stress Day with a beer down on Broadway.  Life is so much better with friends. I am so blessed. I certainly could have gotten through the day on my own, but having irreplaceable  friends to take my mind off the stress of the anticipated results made the day  that much better.  Days later, I got the results and they basically just confirmed I had a stroke, but couldn’t detail for me when it happened.

Since then, I have been told my cholesterol levels are way down (well, duh!!) and my headaches remain under control for the most part.  As mentioned in my previous post, I never heard from the virtual reality game player again. I never contacted him either.  Maybe things are best left in the past. As for the future, nothing much changed from hearing about the stroke and having the concussion, except I am super aware of how fragile a good health history is when you get older.

Stay tuned for me to get back in the saddle on my fitness/health and relationship posts.  I just  wanted to explain to all of you why I had been so out of touch lately!!

Life gets in the way, 1.0

I had a rough end of the summer. It was not what I expected.  I expected to continue my Pilates and lose weight. That  did happen. Just a lot slower.  Life gets in the way, doesn’t it?

So,  in the very beginning of August, I was hanging out with an acquaintance and he suggested he introduce me to virtual reality.  It was fun…until it wasn’t. I chose two games that were quite tame. I couldn’t believe it. I was immersed in a video game. I was such a novice. I still am and always will be, now. The second game was nearing the close and I was ending the game by handing the robot his game back. The next thing I knew, my head made contact with the tempered glass entertainment center.  I was bleeding in a few places. Not gushing, but definitely some blood. I got up and was instantly nauseated and had a horrible headache. The guy patched me up with some gauze, then said “it’s probably time to go now”. Yeah sure….I wanted to get out of there all right. I was not likely fit to drive. My head was pulsating and my heart was racing. I drove home anyway,  totally forgetting my sunglasses. He bought them to my house a few minutes after I got home. He left just as quickly; that would be the last I would ever see of him.

The next day, I had to work. I made it halfway through my shift and I told a coworker about my horrible headache and blurred vision. She said, given my previous day’s adventure, that I needed to go to an emergency department. So I stopped working (fortunately, I work from home) and Ubered my way to the closest emergency department.

I got to the ED and got triaged then waited in the waiting room for about 1.5 hours. I finally got called back and given my symptoms, they xrayed my wrist (which was not broken) and got a CT ordered.  I waited. And I waited. They said I probably had a concussion. Then just a little later, the PA comes in and says “Did you know you have a history of a stroke?”. “Oh a stroke? Wait. What? A stroke?”…. I was blown away and you can bet I was going to get to the bottom of this. They said it was likely an ‘old’ stroke and they couldn’t determine when it happened.

I finally left the ED that night shocked and overwhelmed. With a little bit of a residual headache. The next two to three weeks would be full of daily headaches as I soon learned. It was dreadful.

The next day I called the neurologist’s office. I had a history of headaches and migraines, so I had a specialist already.

In my next post, I will share what happened next.

I’m not Samantha

I tried. I wanted a light and airy summer and I have had a nice summer. So far. But the light and airy part were the guys are concerned has been a little disappointing. I am thinking there are two reasons for this. First, the online dating thing does not work for innocent and good clean fun.  After you post on your profile you are not looking for anything serious, it is assumed by a great majority of men that you are looking for a hook up. There appears to be no middle ground. No dating, not meet ups or even a cocktail to see if there is some viable chemistry.  I am kind of incredulous that they actually expect to show up at your door and as one Aussie described “just kinda get right into it”. WTF?!  Not only is this horribly disrespectful for all parties involved, it is ludicrous in the safety department. Who actually thinks a woman is going to travel to a hotel room? With out even meeting for a drink or a cocktail (much less a few dates)? These guys think they just need your address for a good time right off the internet, without so much as a date, phone call, or even a text with an updated picture to ensure you’re not inviting someone on a date who is NOT the person you’ve been communicating with for any amount of time? This is craziness. I can ONLY surmise that guys try and succeed with this full throttle mission is because it actually works. If this is the case, as insane as it sounds, I would love to give these women a pep talk in safety online.  I don’t know if they are naive, lonely, or merely stupid?  What is going on today? I have tried, but just recently  realized a whole month  of exploring the light and airy option,  it simply won’t work for me. And that’s the second reason this ‘light and airy’ summer wasn’t going to work. I am just not set up that way.

I’m not Samantha. I can’t just meet guys and sleep with them. I can’t just have meaningless fun relationships (if you can call them that). I didn’t really try hard because I could not take these guys seriously. I tried to have fun with it, but it just seemed (to me) to be lonely and dangerous. I couldn’t partake. Instead, I learned a lesson that I am pretty sure I already knew. I don’t do one night stands and I prefer romance. That’s it. I need a real relationship. Not multiple. Just one real significant relationship that includes communication, respect, autonomy and teamwork all at the same time. I guess I am more of a Carrie and way less Samantha.

So, I joined a dating service that is a major investment, but its a matchmaking service that doesn’t work on algorithms and searches of empty and possibly fake profiles.  I already have a date for Tuesday, so I am pretty excited!

Stay Tuned!!

Food and fitness: on the right track together!

Finally! I think I’m on the right track. Yay me! I found a food/lifestyle program that works for me. It is so much more motivating and I can eat real food! All the time! Can you tell how excited I am? I just finished my first week. While I didn’t meet goal two days of the seven, one of them was my 50th birthday, so I will give myself a pass on that one. The other was a great learning experience.

The motivation is there for me to really be conscious of what I put in my body; everything has a point value. Wait, I take that back! There are over 200 food items with no point value. I can eat whatever I want of those. The goal for me is 23 points or fewer  a day. The less point items I consume, the better I am doing.  I am just getting started. For me, just having any leftover points at the end of the day is a personal victory, seeing as I love food. I am learning to strategically love the foods that have less points!  As I mentioned before, last Saturday was a learning experience. I went out for dinner (always a challenge on points). I thought I was being good ,measuring out my tablespoon of butter and sour cream for my baked potato and ordering a simple Caesar salad. What i realized, fairly quickly, is that I should have had one or the other, not both. I should have just had the sour cream (less points). I should have also had a tossed salad with oil and vinegar , not a point pricy Caesar dressing. It was delicious, but even at one tablespoon each and the dressing, the day was a fail.  Live & learn!  So I trudge forward and I have a simple smile on my face because I’ve got this!

So fitness has been a success!! I started Pilates on July 2nd; I love it! It really is helping my strength and balance. Also my core/abdominal strength is kicking ass! I am working my body in  Pilates classes three times as week and for 3 more weeks, I have personal training twice a week. I walk my dogs at least twice a day and I am going to try to do an hour walk once a week on top of that. I hiked last weekend for an hour, so there’s my walk!

I think that while this fitness is fabulous, my biggest challenge are the food choices I make each and every time I think I am hungry. Am I hungry or am I craving? Hungry for nutritious sustenance? Or Craving. Junk. Food? Each time I want to eat something, this is what need to process in my brain. I come back to this food thing because it is the most challenging for me. Does anyone else find this the most challenging? I mean of course there are times I don’t want to get off the couch where I  am watching Sex and the City, but I am more driven to push myself there than with the food.  So, I just need to work on that and that’s where my new lifestyle program comes into play. Since i had the two fails, I am not sure if I will have a weight loss tomorrow (my check in day). I promise I won’t beat myself up if I don’t lose weight. I can’t gain, can I? I mean I am not muscling up that much with my fitness?!

Please drop a line and let me know if you have any helpful hints on the food challenge. I could use all the help I  can get.

See you soon!

A light relationship equals light effort, I guess?

I’m not used to these light, easy going things. I guess I am  always headed toward these intense serious things, that I don’t know what to expect with a light relationship.  Perhaps the expectations are minimal.

I am not sure what to make of it all and I am pretty sure I can’t do it. But damn, I am going to try since i want a light summer with not too much seriousness. Does this mean, however, that there is no respect for my time? Does this mean not putting much effort into making plans?  Generally, does a light relationship equate to minimal consideration to the other person? I am thinking yes to all of the above. This has been my recent experience. So I am learning. I started making my own plans and if he is not available, then I guess I won’t be seeing him. He’s doing this, so I will as well, at his request even.

So this holiday week, I had options; i thought he had a potential of July 4th free, so in the back of my head, I still kept that open and made plans for the other days this week. My error. Apparently,  he had plans that he ‘had to confirm’ so he didn’t bother to mention.  Apparently, he was available the other days, but he didn’t tell me and felt we shouldn’t plan them (just in case he got a better offer, who knows?). Well, too bad. I am now getting educated in the “little effort relationship”.  I live my own life and see if we fit into them. No advance plans, really. No open communication.

Turns out, i won’t be seeing him this week since he confirmed his July 4th plans with his ‘friends’; he claims he’ll try to ‘move something around’, but what’s the point really? He’s going away for a month  the day after my birthday next week and I am not waiting for that. I am moving on. i mean this is a light relationship. It requires little effort.. Next.

A new hopeful

Back into the dating scene and completely exhausted. I’ve met a few guys so far. The first two were not viable options; the second of the two was downright obnoxious. He reminded me too much of the live in. This third one is definitely viable, though our relationship is as developed as a zygote.

I think I want to keep it as light as possible this time around compared with my last disaster! For one, the guy is laid back and there’s no pressure. That helps. I won’t lie. There are some other factors that play into the whole situation which makes this guy so appealing. He is 1 hour form me which means he won’t be over all the time. I enjoy his company very much; don’t get me wrong, but I want the summer to enjoy my friends and going out as well. He has his shit together and loves where he lives, so he won’t want to move in anytime soon……or ever. Bonus!  He also goes away for travel quite a bit, business and pleasure.  Sometimes on the weekend. This gives me time to get stuff done. With all this being said there are a few drawbacks to the whole situation.

There are times that I would have liked to see him, just to spend time getting to know each other in this initial phase. With the time differences in travel, its been awkward. I mean we got off to a good start then with time away and an inability to keep the spark when the spark needs to stay lit is a bit frustrating. I am thinking I can get over this soon,  He’ll be home this week and we may see each other for dinner toward the end of the week and spending some much needed quality time on Saturday.  I like that the relationship is light for now. I don’t know what he thinks of it; he’s so laid back, I imagine he thinks it is a pretty casual  situation. I think this is dating sans the intense togetherness. We have decided to be monogamous after sleeping together (after the FOURTH date),  I think. Maybe I need more clarification on the details, but that does not mean serious per se. More like safe. I think I will find out more this weekend. But for the first time in a very long time, I am NOT in a rush. It feels good. I think this is going to shape up to be a very fun summer!

Another thing: He knows I blog, but  he does not ask me about it. Ever. Never. I am not sure if this means he doesn’t care or if he lets me be with the privacy to write what I want, uncensored.

Relationships that come to an end…

So, I guess for me, relationships come to an end. That’s what they do. I honestly thought that this one would last. I thought I could handle the heavy baggage. I really did. And to an extent, I could: the ex, the past, poor judgement. I think it was the present that was too much for me.

So, in the beginning I got to know the past and I absorbed it and moved on. Great. But what I wasn’t focusing on was the present. What started out as him having OCD (in his words) ended up being some very controlling behavior. Controlling every little detail. In the beginning it was simple stuff, switching leashes on the dogs. No big deal. I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t worth a battle or even a discussion. Or was I too intimidated to speak up? I don’t really know. At this point, I may say maybe. Then, it was the eating; that got to be a bigger deal. We brought food into the house in quantities that were enormous and we split the bill because after all, I was eating too. BUT: not quite as much, yet I paid for half. Again, I didn’t say anything. We ate a lot. I ate more than I have really eaten in a really really long time. Like ever? I don’t know about that…I ate lots in my 20’s and 30’s. You get the idea. I didn’t speak up, thus my acceptance of these behaviors were interpreted as approval. This is on me, I realize now.

A few months into our relationship, I was gaining weight. An obvious effect from bigger than life eating. Seemingly a lot of weight. But I justified it as our ‘honeymoon’ period of eating and drinking a lot I was in denial somewhat that this was a problem. Two months, three months in, I started to get bothered by it. He started on behavior that bothered me as well. Was it new behavior? I really don’t know. I am sure to an extent it was always there, but how is it that I recognized it 2-3 months and not right away? It really started to wear on me. The obnoxious boyfriend was more than just obnoxious.

This behavior that started out as his quirky, slightly obnoxious OCD behavior became more controlling. He commented on everything it seemed. What I wore. What I ate. How much I drank when we went out. So I would pay to Uber to happy hours to meet him so I wouldn’t have to drink and drive, but he insisted on driving us home.. And believe me, that wasn’t always safe. I will leave that right here. I chose to let his behavior dictate my judgement. What became the final fall of our relationship was the weekend before I left for London and Paris.

We went out with my friend and her husband. It was 4/20 in Denver. I hope you understand what that means! My boyfriend was very excited and we met our friends downtown. It was a crazy scene, but all was fine. We then went out to dinner. At that point, I kind of wanted a few drinks with dinner, but I was trying to eat healthy. But being that I was out for dinner and was going to start my life style change AFTER London and. Paris, I ordered truffle fries and a cocktail to start. He, in front of my friend and her husband, started to criticize my food choices. Yes, I will say truffle fries are not the hallmark of health food, but I was not trying to be healthy that night. I was having fun. He also commented that he hoped that would be my last drink. Well, folks, it was not. And to balance out the truffle fries, I ordered a salad. Yep, a salad and a cocktail. This caused a lot of frustration for my boyfriend who felt that this was publicly inappropriate food choices and let me know in front of my friends. He was mad that my friend’s husband was trying to help me get my second cocktail. You know, since I should not have had more than one. So that’s it for that night. I never had more than two cocktails, but he was pretty pissed.

The next night we had a huge argument that was born from that last evening and really festered when I chose to eat some deli meat and cheese with no bread. He said that was wrong and I needed to have bread to make a proper meal, even though i didn’t want all the carbs. I really woke up that night. I woke up to all the controlling. My food , my clothes, being told I was overweight and I needed bigger clothes. Were these simple facts the truth? Perhaps, partially. Was it necessary that he control my behavior and criticize my every move through justifying that it happened to be the truth? I think not.

I was done. I woke up from the dream of our ‘happy at first’ relationship and I was just plain done. I could only see things for what they were. I couldn’t put on the rose colored glasses. They didn’t fit anymore. It just didn’t work. I am not the type to be controlled. One thing led to another and I just couldn’t be myself. Turned out it had been a while since I was truly myself. I had to stand up for myself. He knew it was the end. He was on better behavior after that night following the evening out with my friends. It was never the same. It was just too late then.

I left for London and Paris the weekend after. I ended things while I was in Paris. He moved out the day after I came back.

I’m not going to say I am not sad. Because I am…or I was….but I am free.I have my space back, physically and mentally. He was very good to respect my wishes and move out with no drama. I definitely am grateful for that. I would even consider being friends with him. Maybe. But nothing more. I just can not take the feeling of being controlled and criticized. If this is what being friends is like, that probably won’t last long either.

I gave it four months. I needed me back. I needed me back badly. Even within a week of being back on my own, a close friend said to me “I am so glad you are back to your old self!”…..wow! Was it that obvious?